No matter where you live or what type of yard you have, pretty much every homeowner has struggled with weeds from time to time. Weeds can be annual or perennial, and they are often regionally specific. But to get them under control, there are better options than the chemical weed killers you see in stores that are full of dangerous and toxic chemicals. Not only do chemical weed killers put kids and pets at risk who play in the yard, but they can also seep into groundwater and contaminate soil for other plants.
For the sake of the environment and your family’s health, here are some natural and eco-friendly weed control strategies for your yard and garden.
If your house isn’t already stocked with vinegar, now is the time to do so. This eco-friendly household solution is effective on everything from stain removal to insect bites to so many different cleaning tasks. It is also an effective weed killer when sprayed directly onto weeds. For tough weed areas, pick up some extra-strength industrial vinegar that has a 20 percent concentration. Pour it into a spray bottle to kill weeds, let it set for a couple days, and then pull out the dead weeds by hand. You can also make a vinegar solution with salt and soap.
Essential oils aren’t just for your oil diffuser or the bathtub. Certain natural oils are also used to kill weeds because of their unique properties. Oils to try on weeds include clove oil, castor oil, and lemon oil. You can use oils on weeds on their own or mix them with vinegar and some liquid castile soap to make a sprayable solution.
Mulching is an eco-friendly gardening method that is great for weed control. Spread your mulch over flowerbeds and vegetable-growing areas to prevent weed growth. You’ll need a two- or three-inch layer of mulch to prevent weeds so they aren’t able to get enough sunlight to grow.
Pulling weeds is hard work, but it’s often the best way to go about the job. If you pay attention to weed growth regularly, the task can be manageable in small yards and a great way to get some fresh air and exercise.
Another eco-friendly way to attack weeds is to simply pour boiled water on them. Water this hot will kill weeds effectively in large areas that you want to cover, such as cracks in driveways. It doesn’t leave behind any harmful residue, but just make sure the hot water doesn’t reach your favorite plants.
Commercial Organic Weed Killers
If you don’t have the time or interest in making your own DIY weed killer, you can head to your local garden supply store and find commercial organic weed control products that are already made. Just read the labels to make sure that these solutions really are chemical-free and non-toxic and not just marketing false claims.
What’s your go-to method for killing weeds in your yard? Share your ideas with us in the comment section below.